Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Relish and Brown Rice Pilaf

I first made this meal about four years ago (which is actually when I took the photo above) and it was so delicious, especially the pork tenderloin. I actually made it again this year, for Mother's Day, and my mom really loved it. The cherry relish seems like a slightly bizarre concept at first, but it's just SO good! The recipe was from Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking magazine, so on top of being delicious, it's pretty healthy too!

Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Relish

1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. each dried oregano, tarragon, and crushed dried rosemary (I did not have tarragon and don't particularly care for it, so I substituted dried thyme instead)
2 pork tenderloins (1 lb. each), trimmed of extra fat

1 large red onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. dried cherries
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. crushed dried rosemary

In a small bowl, combine garlic powder and herbs; rub over pork. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For relish, in a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until tender. Add sugar; cook and stir over medium heat for 10 minutes or until onion is browned. Add the cherries, vinegar, and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Place pork on a rack in a shallow roasting pan lined with foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees*. Let stand for 10 minutes, with a piece of foil tented over it, before slicing. Serve with relish.

*The original recipe, as written a few years ago, called for the pork to be cooked to 160 degrees. I was never able to get the pork that hot, though it was clearly done. In 2011, the USDA changed its policy to say that pork tenderloin is actually safe to eat at 145 degrees. Depending on the thickness of your tenderloin, it may take longer than 30 minutes to get to this temp. I generally just try to get pork to at least 140 before I take it out of the oven, and then it cooks a little more while resting.

Brown Rice Pilaf
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 c. uncooked brown rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large saucepan, saute onion and green pepper in oil until tender. Add rice and garlic; cook and stir for 3 - 4 minutes or until rice is lightly browned. Add the water, broth, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35 - 40 minutes or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork.

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